3 IT Concerns for Higher Education Institutions

In Brief:

  • Higher education institutions are facing many challenges today, especially when it comes to technology. 

  • It’s been made clear that institutions need to improve and maintain their data security and digital learning tools.  

Blog Post

Higher education institutions are facing many challenges today, especially when it comes to technology. From threats of cyberattacks to the digital transformation of learning to keeping their IT departments fully staffed, these technology concerns are on the rise. Here’s an in-depth look at these top problem areas 

#1 Data Security

Colleges and universities are prime targets for cyberattacks. Since they host a significant amount of sensitive data, including student information, protected health information, financial information, and research data, it places them at high risk. Additionally, with its workforce dispersed and many students operating online, higher education institutions are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Even the smallest of breaches can be catastrophic. Research shows that the average cost of a data breachin education can be as high as $200 per record. With this in mind, its critical institutions develop security plans and processes, institutional infrastructure, and institutional workforce skills to protect and secure data from a cybercrime 

#2 Digital Learning

The pandemic accelerated the need for digital learning, leaving students and staff at a technological disadvantage. Now, institutions are trying to stay up-to-date with online learning to ensure their faculty and staff have the digital fluency to provide creative, reasonable, and advanced engagement for students. Today’s students are accustomed to using technology from a younger age and thus are comfortable using tech tools to attend classes; however, the process isn’t always easy. Issues can occur from IT problems and lack of internet access to unclear instructions from digital teaching resources. Higher ed institutions can give their students an advantage in digital learning with careful planning, implementation of learning tools, and by making online education more affordable.  

#3 IT Staffing

It’s been made clear higher ed institutions need to improve and maintain their data security and digital learning tools, but who at the institutions will keep track of all of this moving forward? This is usually up to the IT department, but recently, there have been IT staffing shortages throughout the United States. According to HelioCampus, the IT labor shortage is caused by employees leaving college campuses in search of higher pay in corporate America—often with telework benefits as part of their salary packages. Even with a dwindling IT department, institutions can rely on other methods to keep up on their digital modernization efforts. From investing in analytics and using benchmarking tools to support IT hiring and retention to hiring contractors or technology partners to fill the gaps, institutions can still drive IT efforts and support their existing IT staff.  

With all the worries that come with threats of cyberattacks, it can be comforting to know you have reliable partners who are being proactive. Here at Nelnet Campus Commerce we’re serious about security and compliance, that’s why we’re a validated, Payment Card Industry (PCI) Level I Compliant Merchant Processor, delivering the highest levels of payment processing security to protect the financial transactions of your institution, your students, and families. In addition, we comply with relevant regulations, including PCI-Data Security Standard (DSS), and National Automated Clearing House Association (Nacha).  

Furthermore, we partner with CampusGuard, a leader in cybersecurity and compliance who focuses on the needs of campus-based organizations including higher education, healthcare, and state and local government.  

Learn more about Nelnet Campus Commerce Security and Compliance  

Learn more about CampusGuard  

Author: Natalie Schwarz

Natalie Schwarz is a Content Marketing Writer for Nelnet Campus Commerce. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing and has over a decade of professional writing experience. When she’s not crafting content for blogs, case studies, and social media, you can find her enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their twin boys or relaxing with an embroidery project and a podcast.

View all posts by Natalie Schwarz